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10 Things Only People with Big Dogs Will Understand

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Dog parenting is different for those of us with extra large dogs. The size of our dogs present unique challenges in addition to many wonderful rewards. If have an extra large dog, chances are these will ring true for you.

Yes, I know my dog is big  


Photo: Antranias / CC BY

When you have a large dog, you get lots of comments about how big your dog is. Mostly, “Wow, that’s a big dog!” Yes, yes, it is.

When I bring my giant Labrador retriever, Toby, to the dog park or take him for a walk, I can count on at least two people making a comment about his size. At first it was a fun talking point. Then it got a little irksome. (Yes, thank you, Captain Obvious.) Finally, I’ve reached acceptance. I smile and say, “Yes he is!”

Small dogs seem like they might break

little dog in a tea cup

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After having a large dog, little pups seem so tiny and fragile. You can’t play with them the same way you do with larger dogs. They are far more delicate and unable to withstand the roughhousing you do with your plus-size pet. There is also the risk of stepping on the little critter.

Everyone who owns a large dog has inevitably gone on to pet a small dog a little too hard. Nothing bad, but you can see the pup wince a bit when you play with him (and then you sheepishly look around to see if anyone saw you).

You get lots of Clifford and Marmaduke jokes

When you have a large dog, you are guaranteed to get people calling your pup Clifford or Marmaduke, two famous extra-large cartoon dogs. And you know what? Those dogs are pretty awesome. Clifford (the 25” big red dog) is friendly, loyal and helpful, and has endeared himself to kids for generations. Marmaduke, from the cartoon strip bearing the same name, is a lovable, charismatic canine who has made millions laugh. These are pretty awesome characters to be compared to.

Big dogs make the BEST snugglers


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Nothing beats snuggling up with a big dog. With little dogs, you have to be careful how much force you use and how you’re positioned, lest you squish the tiny tot. But with big dogs, you can cozy up for a full-out epic snuggle. Giant, happy puppy kisses make it even better.

Granted, if they sleep in bed with you, it can get a little tough. It always starts out as a cute fluffy puppy – what can be so bad about letting them cuddle up with you in bed, right? Foresight goes out the window when you have an adorable pup wanting to snuggle you to sleep. Before long, the dog is a full-grown and taking up as much room as a human, making your bed crowded and snug. All in all, however, it’s totally worth it to have the love and cuddles of a big dog every night.

Small dog stuff is hilarious


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How freakin’ funny is it to walk through the pet store and see all the little dog products? The mini tennis ball your dog would swallow in two seconds. The tiny treats that look more like a pellet of your dog’s food. The itty bitty rawhide rolls that look more like a cigarette than a chew toy.

Seeing little dog products provides endless amusement for those of us with giant beasts of a dog. It’s kind of like the feeling you get when you see miniatures, like tiny dollhouses and accessories. So cute, so entertaining.

Big dogs don’t realize they’re big


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Large dogs are in total denial about their size, and that is part of what makes them so darn endearing. Our 100-pound Lab still sits on us like he is a little lap dog, oblivious to his hulking stature. Or he’ll squeeze into a tiny spot on the couch between my husband and me, unaware that he’s knocked one of us with his big tail and head-butted the other.  They live in their own world, where they are normal size and no one else has caught on yet.

The bigger the size, the bigger the brain


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Larger dogs are often more obedient and easier to train. Some may say they’re smarter. Research is inconclusive,, but many large dog owners believe this to be true.

They look scary, but they’re not


Photo: Wikimedia / CC BY

From the outset, large dogs are intimidating. Their sheer size is enough to make people stop in their tracks and thick twice about crossing paths. As their pup parent, however, you know they’re really just softies at heart. Most big dogs are gentle giants that wouldn’t hurt a fly. It’s the aggressive small dogs you have to look out for!

The way I look at it, we have the best of both worlds with Toby. He’s sweet and gentle – but big enough to intimate intruders!

You never know who is walking who


Photo: Wikimedia / CC BY

Going on a walk with a large dog is exhausting. Like all dogs, they get excited and pull on the leash, but it’s tougher to control them when they weigh almost as much as you. Plus, with their long legs, it’s tough to keep up with their lanky strides!

As an owner of a large dog, you’ve likely gotten the comment, “Who is walking who here?!” You politely smile and chuckle, but deep down you’d like to hand them the leash and say, “You try to corral this horse!”

Large dogs are the best pet you could every ask for


Photo: Valeria Rodrigues / CC BY

All large dog owners know this to be true. Period.

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